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US: American Airlines accused of safety breaches

Date: 15 Aug 2008

The Federal Aviation Administration has said that American Airlines is guilty of major safety failures, including keeping planes in the air that were known to be in need of repair.

According to the FAA, jets flew dozens of flights during 2007 when pilots had reported that repair work needed to be done. The FAA intends to fine the company over $7m for the breaches, an amount which is said was justified because the company had been aware of the need for repairs but had deferred maintenance.

In one incident, the plane's autopilot malfunctioned during landing because of a faulty altimeter. However, the problem was not fixed, and the plane flew a further 36 times before being repaired.

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